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Windows 7: Intermittent BSOD when playing SWTOR, stop error 0x124

25 Feb 2013   #1
mproscia

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 
Intermittent BSOD when playing SWTOR, stop error 0x124

I am getting BSOD, usually when playing SWTOR. It occurs randomly during the game, sometimes just a minute or two into the game and other times I may be able to play for over an hour.

I have recieved 2 BSOD messages:

IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

Uncorrectable Hardware Error

One of the error codes I wrote down was:
stop: 0x00000124 (0x0000000000000000 0xFFFFFA80093E1028 0x00000000FE200000 0x0000000000021136)

another I wrote down was
stop: 0x00000124 (0x0000000000000000 0xFFFFFA80040C7028 0x00000000FE200000 0x0000000000021136)

I have also recieved BSOD during these tasks:

Running the Windows Experience Index assessment (a couple of times)
Once when running Furmark gpu test
A few times when shutting the system down (after a driver installation I think. I am guessing that a new WEI assessment is run by the OS during shut down after graphics driver install so may be thats why?)
I do beleive that the error occurred at least once during a mundane task, but in general I have had no stability problems during usual tasks such as surfing the web, using office software etc.

Yes, I have noticed that all of these tasks involve graphics so that is where my hunch lies. I have done my best to eliminate other possibilities (I will explain), but right now I believe I am down to the MOBO, CPU, and the PSU.

This is my second custom build (first for myself). Here's my specs:

(New Build - just over a month)
Windows 7 Pro
Intel 3570k CPU
MSI Z77 MPOWER MOBO
8 GB (2x4GB) GSkill Ripjaws Z DDR3 @ 2400 Mhz (PC3 19200)
Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 240 GB SSD
Rosewill HIVE-650W PSU
Rosewill BLACKHAWK Case
Using Intel HD Graphics 4000 Integrated Graphics (for now)
Stock Intel CPU Fan/Heatsink (for now)
5 stock case fans
Dell 1702FP @ 1280/1024

Removed overclocking (for now).

Temps typical in the 40's C, w/ spikes up to the low 60's. According to my research and RealTemp, TJMax is 105. When I tried a mild overclock prime 95 got it up to 80C so I decided to wait on overclocking until I got a better CPU heatsink/fan

TROUBLE HISTORY:
After I initially installed the OS, I used the MSI Live Update software to update all the drivers, downloaded all the Windows 7 updates, etc, and I started using the system. The BSOD problem may have occured ONCE early on but was disregarded as a one time glitch, which never really happened again until much later when I decided to download and install a game - SWTOR.
The system always starts up and runs just fine, until I start playing the game.

I tried reinstalling the game a couple of times. Still BSOD.

I tried removing any overclock (just the mild auto-overclock from MSI's OC Genie software) just in case it was some stability issue. Still BSOD.

Some message boards from others w/ BSOD problems seemed to indicate memory, so I tried checking all the memory BIOS settings. After the initial build I had some trouble figuring out how to manipulate the BIOS options to get the RAM to run at 2400 Mhz (the "Click BIOS" interface was new to me), but I ended up disabling the Intel XMP memory setting, and just leaving it on "auto" so now the RAM I paid extra for is running at just 1600 Mhz until I figure out this BSOD. Still BSOD.

Then I just reset the BIOS to all default settings to ensure it was not some setting that was out of order. Still BSOD.

Eventually, I tried installing every driver listed on MSI's website in order to resolve the problem. I installed every other windows update that hadn't been installed yet (including the optional ones, just in case) Still intermittent BSOD during game.

Since it was a new install anyway and I have all my data backed up on an external I figured I should just reinstall the OS clean. I tried installing only the bare minimums for the game to run - the driver for the LAN, the graphics driver from MSI, and the game itself. Still BSOD.

I figured that this was now going to be really time consuming and it would be just worth it let a pro look at it for $39 at the local PC repair shop. He said he ran all these tests and what not but could not get it to BSOD. He also said he checked PSU voltages. He said the only thing he found was that there was a later driver for the GPU from intel (the generic drivers) and that I should try that. I pointed out to him that all the other drivers were not up to date because I had just tried a clean install to resolve the problem, but that I previously had all the drivers p to date. He also asked if I was using an old keyboard becuase "there was this one time" and gave me a story about an old keyboard. It just so happpened that I was actually using a 10 year old Dell PS2 keyboard, so I was open to this being a possibilty and tried using my new wireless keyboard. He felt the system was ok and that I should just try getting the latest driver, and use a different keyboard maybe. I also installed the latest intel driver. Still BSOD (within 10 minutes of getting it home!).

MEMORY:
Ran Windows memory tests - NO ERRORS.
I've tried running HCI Memtest overnight to 2000% (yes 2000) - NO ERRORS.
I've tried running the game with just one stick of RAM in, then switched to the other. BSOD w/ BOTH.
Also tried one stick of ram in the other mem slot (just in case it was the slot on the board). Still BSOD.

HD/SSD:
Ran Chkdsk - No ERRORS.
Called Mushkin. Confirmed firmware is the latest. Installed latest mobo/controller driver from intel. Installed Crystal Disk Info - Helath = Good 100%.
Still BSOD.

CPU:
Tried installing and running Intel's Processor Diagnostic Tool. Passed.

As of right now I have tried several clean installs with just one graphics driver installed at a time since there is the old one from MSI (on the disc), the newest one from MSI's website, and the generic ones from Intel. I was theorizing that installing them on top of one another, one was not being installed or uninstalled and somehow screwing things up. I have even tried all the drivers that "Driver Max" recommends in case there was something I had missed (or that MSI had missed).

I don't have alternate/spare components to swap out with and really physically eliminate anything 100% (or else I probably would have figured this out myself by now) so the best I can really offer is all this info and stop error codes and the file from the "SF Diag tool".

I really appreciate any help I can recieve here from those with greater experience than I, or really anyone that actually read this entire diatribe...


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
25 Feb 2013   #2
x BlueRobot

 

Quote:
MEMORY:
Ran Windows memory tests - NO ERRORS.
I've tried running HCI Memtest overnight to 2000% (yes 2000) - NO ERRORS.
I've tried running the game with just one stick of RAM in, then switched to the other. BSOD w/ BOTH.
Also tried one stick of ram in the other mem slot (just in case it was the slot on the board). Still BSOD.
Was the additional stick of RAM you inserted, the same stick which you moved to the other slot?

Memory:Run Memtest86+ for least 7-8 passes, and preferably overnight as it can take a while to fully complete.

Test each RAM stick individually, if an error is found then move the same RAM stick into the next DIMM slot and test again, if errors are found for the same RAM stick in every available slot then you have a faulty RAM module. On the other hand, if no errors are found in the next slot or the other slots for the same RAM module, then you have a faulty DIMM slot.

Test each RAM stick and every motherboard DIMM slot available.

What AV protection do you have installed?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2013   #3
Dsprague

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 enterprise 64 bit, Windows 7 Pro 64 bit ,Windows 8 64bit
 
 

May I ask why your product key matches a dell product key when you have a custom built system?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

25 Feb 2013   #4
mproscia

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Sorry about the late response. I went to bed right after posting (I'm east coast).

1. I tried playing the game with just one stick in the first slot (slot 2). BSOD.
Then I tried the other stick in the same slot (slot2). BSOD.
This should basically eliminate the idea of one of the memory sticks being bad right? (Unless they are BOTH bad, i suppose).

Then having assumed that the memory itself is ok, I tried running the game with just one of the sticks in the other mem slot (slot 4). This was to eliminate the possibility of just the mem slot on the MOBO, is my logic correct?
I did not try running it in slots 1 and/or 3 because the manual says that these should only be used when all 4 slots are to be used. Also, please correct me if this is incorrect!

2. Regarding the Windows 7 Pro, it is a Dell OEM purchased from Genuine Software at Low Prices | Designer Tech Software
Due dilligence here and research on the topic of using OEM OS discs. Evidently according to their website, and other similar sites, it is legal to install from an OEM disc. I also found some message boards on the topic that also confirmed this, explaining that the concept is that the OS may only be installed on ONE PC at a time. Now, since this was a Dell disc, it DID make me wonder how they were obtained (stolen goods? a rogue Dell employee? fake software, etc). I also theorized that this could technically be completely legal if some company's PC had reached EOL and was decommisioning a bunch of PC's and sold the discs as long as the OS was removed from use on them. So I contacted a friend that's an MCSE and he said that this is pretty common, actually for the opposite reason that I theorized - he said small companies end up with extra OS when they buy new PC's that come with a more recent OS than they are running, so they install whatever version they are running and end up with them. Then I recalled when I was working for the government in my previous job and my dept had to purchase some new PC's. The deal on PC's they purchased came pre-loaded with Vista, but we were running XP Pro. The IT guy offered me the disc, but I hated Vista anyway. That all helped to ease my mind, so I went ahead with the purchase.

The disc came sealed w/ the certificate of authenticity, and microsoft confirms that it is genuine. Saved me a little.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2013   #5
mproscia

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Thanks for your response BlueRobot, I will try MemTest86+ test and report back. I know that MemTest86+ is the most popular ram test but it didn't want to have to shuffle files around to format my usb jumpdrive, but it sounds like thats the only way to be sure. Also, according to some users that test doesn't always catch the problem as well as the HCI Memtest because the system is not stressed. What is your opinion?

Also, are you asking me to check the ram because you analyzed the dump files I uploaded, or is this just from experience you have, or just because thats what a stop 0x124 usually is? I just want to try to understand the troubleshooting methodology here so I can improve my skills.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2013   #6
mproscia

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

One more thing, when going through with a clean install for troubleshooting purposes here, what is the best order to go with immediately after installing the OS? Should go with all the Microsoft updates first, and then the drivers from my MOBOs website, or should I install the drivers first? Also, should I go with the MOBO manufacturers graphics drivers and chipset drivers etc or the generic ones from intel?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2013   #7
x BlueRobot

 

For the clean install of Windows, this tutorial may be of assistance:I would download the drivers from the manufacturer of the motherboard, and not the company who designed the case etc.

I decided that RAM may be the best starting point, from the information you provided about the RAM sticks/DIMM slots; RAM seems to the hardware which tends to fail first and that 0x124 bugchecks are almost always related to hardware failure or incompatibility. MemTest86+ can sometimes find errors at around 9-10 passes, but 7-8 passes is a good average to work with.

A Dell OEM disc would be fine, since it is most likely to be a System Builder license.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2013   #8
mproscia

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Just stopped by my thread in between Mem tests.

So to clarify, you prefer the MOBO manufacturer modified drivers over the ones from Intel, correct?

This makes sense to me since they are modified to meet each boards customizations.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2013   #9
x BlueRobot

 

Yes, personally I would go with the motherboard drivers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2013   #10
mproscia

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Ok, so previously I had already established that I get this BSOD during gameplay while playing with just (1) stick of ram, and the BSOD occurred with each stick of ram separately. I also tried moving one ram stick to a different slot and the BSOD still occurred, so it was not just that ram slot. I had also stressed the memory with HCI memtest to 2,000%. These seemed to indicate to me that the ram itself was not a problem.

As advised I have now run several memtest86+ tests on each stick and each slot, here are my results:

Stick A / Slot 4 @ 18 passes (overnight) = NO ERRORS
Stick A / Slot 3 @ 12 passes = NO ERRORS
Stick A / Slot 2 @ 10 passes = NO ERRORS
Stick A / Slot 1 @ 10 passes = NO ERRORS

Stick B / Slot 4 = 2 ERRORS at 3 passes and 4 more @ 9 passes ?!
(left running while I was @ work)
Stick B / Slot 3 @ 10 passes = NO ERRORS

All the test results are conflicting! I get a problem playing the game no matter which stick I use, or which slot it is in. Memtest says one stick is good for sure, it also seems to indicate all the slots are good for sure. But then it indicates the other stick is good, but slot 4 is bad, but slot 4 already tested ok for 18 passes, and the game doesn't care which memory stick or which slot?!

At this point I call MSI for some guidance. The tech support pointed out that memtest86+ does truly test only the memory. It focuses on stressing the memory, but the CPU is tested and especially the memory controller which is built into the CPU. When describing the situations where my problems happen he seemed to think the problem is most likely the CPU (GPU, mem controller, etc) or I could have a bad socket on the MOBO. But he said I should try reseating the CPU, so I went out and got some thermal compound and tried that.

Still BSOD within 5 minutes of playing the game.

Any suggestions? Thanks for your help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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